Artists and Patrons Connect to Further Development of Huachinera Arts & Cultural Center

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Phoenix-based Organization H.E.A.R.T. Hosts Annual Art Auction & Gala on March 14, 2009 at Stagecoach Village in Cave Creek, Arizona. The Event Will Benefit the Huachinera Arts and Cultural Center in Huachinera, Sonora, Mexico.

Back in 2004, when my artist friends and colleagues learned of our efforts to raise the Center, they jumped right in to offer their support and the auction was born. Generous artist donations, coupled with the fact that the Valley is a second home to some of the most generous art patrons in the country …and we had a recipe for success.

H.E.A.R.T. (http://www.cachheart.org) hosts its annual Art Auction and Gala on Saturday, March 14, 2009. The event, which takes place at Stagecoach Village, 7100 E. Cave Creek Road, in Cave Creek, Arizona, will begin with a silent art auction, cocktails and hors d'ouevres at 7:00pm, followed by a $125 a plate dinner and live art auction. The event raises funds for the continued building and running of the Huachinera Arts and Cultural Center in Huachinera, Sonora, Mexico. In addition to art works by a number of locally and nationally recognized artists, including James Ayers and Jason Napier, patrons will also be able to bid on other unusual or one-of-a-kind items. These include a long, hooded duster with hand-made sterling silver buttons, designed and hand-painted by local artist Tricia Anderson, as well as a Yamasa brand slot machine, donated by Donald Di Carlo of Slot Machines Super Store.

The Huachinera Arts and Cultural Center was founded by Jess Davila, a Phoenix, Arizona-based professional artist/sculptor. Davila moved with his family from Huachinera to the United States when he was twelve years of age. During a visit to his home town in the early 2000s, he saw a declining population and deteriorating economic opportunities. In search of ways to better the situation, Davila imagined a cultural center that would preserve and promote the arts, create job opportunities and take advantage of Huachinera's physical beauty and proximity to the Arizona border (a scenic 10-hour drive from Phoenix).

To turn his vision to reality, Davila joined hands with artist friends Guadalupe Apodaca, Jason Napier and Pablo Milan. The C.A.C.H./H.E.A.R.T. organization was born and the first stone for the Cultural Center was laid on October 16, 2004. "The bottom line is, there was a need for work in the Sierra Madre region, the population of the towns of this mountain region were dwindling as the students that were able to continue their education left town and simply did not return because of the lack of work," said Davila. "At the same time, the region harbors a great physical beauty and an intense creative spirit - there were children and adults who wanted to do art, to learn new techniques, but didn't have the means. With the Center, we are bringing it all together; art, talent, classes, jobs, creativity, techniques, work and tourism. A good example of how the project has helped the town is the recent construction of a new motel to accommodate visitors participating in classes and workshops at the Center."

Of course, some benefits belie monetary associations. "Some of the most beautiful memories I have are of the children wanting to create art, wanting to get into the art classes. There have been cases where the class will be completely full and we can't accept any more children, but after a while that same child has somehow snuck into the class room and is creating art - well, how can you deny creativity?" grinned Davila.

C.A.C.H.|H.E.A.R.T. has made steady progress in developing the Center. In 2008, through a partnership with the Mexican government, it significantly raised awareness of and attendance at the Center. As well, the Painting Building was completed.

"Although it is one of the smaller buildings, it is the most inspiring, because of the beauty and gorgeous views from both inside and outside its walls," remarked Davila. Firm goals have also been laid for 2009. "With the generous contributions of C.A.C.H.|H.E.A.R.T. donors, we will complete construction on the Sculpture Building and fully furnish all completed buildings. With each project we complete, we come closer to realizing our dream of making this an international center that is open to people around the world to come enjoy, learn, teach and appreciate."

The March 14 auction and gala is the main fundraising event for the building and running of the Center. All funds raised are supplemented by the Mexican government's "three for one" program, in which each dollar raised in the United States is matched threefold by the Mexican government. "Patrons who have attended H.E.A.R.T. auctions in the past will see a few changes," said Michelle Russell, chairperson of the auction/gala committee with her husband Kevin Russell. Russell also noted that, "After many years of hosting the auction at the Arizona Fine Art Expo, the auction will be expanding to a new location at the Stagecoach Village in Cave Creek. We're for the first time offering a private $125 dollar a plate dinner to coincide with the live auction. Finally, in addition to the fine artwork, we will be adding some one-of-a-kind and unique items to the bidder list. With these exciting changes, the C.A.C.H.|H.E.A.R.T. board and auction/gala committee look forward to the 2009 auction and gala with great anticipation."

"The HEART art auction, now in its sixth year, truly reflects the good hearts and generous spirit of the local, national and international artist community that gathers in the Valley each winter," mused Davila. "Back in 2004, when my artist friends and colleagues learned of our efforts to raise the Center, they jumped right in to offer their support and the auction was born. Generous artist donations, coupled with the fact that the Valley is a second home to some of the most generous art patrons in the country …and we had a recipe for success."

For additional information on the HEART Auction and Gala or the Huachinera Arts and Cultural Center, contact Jess Davila or Michelle and Kevin Russell, or visit http://www.cachheart.org.

About C.A.C.H.|H.E.A.R.T:
C.A.C.H.|H.E.A.R.T. is dedicated to fostering the communities within the Sierra Madre Region in Sonora, Mexico as they evolve from their traditional ranching/farming roots into a vital, regional education center for Artists and artisans. By combining human and financial resources, we seek to provide both physical facilities and mentoring programs by established, successful artists that will enable the indigenous people of the region to recognize artistic and economic achievement in their native environment, thereby strengthening families and preserving rural traditions.

Contact:
Michelle and Kevin Russell, Chairpersons, Organizing Committee for H.E.A.R.T. Art Auction & Gala
602.866.9849

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